“Nathi,” Reinecker says with a broad smile, “it’s so nice to get a chance to talk to you away from the pitch.”
He’s sitting, rather stiffly, on one of our floral chairs. His imposing presence makes our little house feel even smaller.
“I’ll let you two talk,” my mother says, “I’ve got to speak to Mr. Isaacs about getting feed for the chickens.”
She pulls her coat on and waves as she leaves the house.
“What…” I begin. I can’t believe Reinecker has come to visit me. What’s going on?
“We didn’t get off to a very good start did we?” Reinecker interrupts.
“No.” Instantly I feel my sense of outrage rise up inside me. “You threw my father’s book in the dustbin!”
Reinecker frowns. “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t realise that book was your father’s book nor how important it was to you.”
I shrug, taken aback by the apology, and sit down in the other chair, facing the German coach.
“It doesn’t matter because you’re not going to use any of the strategies in there are you?”
Reinecker sighs and shakes his head. “No you’re right. I’m not. I’m going to use my own plans and strategies for Streetskillz. Strategies learnt during many years of experience as a player and a coach.”
I look carefully at the tall man perched uncomfortably on my mother’s chair. I’ve disliked Reinecker right from the start, but maybe he has a point. He is very experienced and its only logical that he should have his own ideas about how Streetskillz should play.
“I’ve come to see you tonight to tell you that I think you’re the best player that Streetskillz has,” Reinecker continues, “I think you’ve got a chance to go professional soon.”
I can feel my heart suddenly thumping wildly in my chest. Did I hear right?
“You could make it as a pro,” the German continues with a smile, “but only if you listen to my advice.”
I nod slowly, trying to keep my cool. But believe me, right now I’m willing to listen to whatever Reinecker has to say.
“Your game against Henry was good,” Reinecker says, “but it could have been better. You held back because Henry is your friend. “
Reinecker leans forward in his chair and stares at me with his intense blue eyes before he speaks again.
“If you want to make it as a pro you’ve got to develop the killer instinct.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you think developing a killer instinct is necessary in professional soccer?